Developer Application Criteria - Was Re: New Application processes

Bryce Harrington bryce at
Wed Jan 7 21:46:08 GMT 2009

On Wed, Jan 07, 2009 at 02:18:09PM -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Wednesday 07 January 2009 13:22, Daniel Holbach wrote:
> > Dustin Kirkland schrieb:
> > > I really believe the MOTU and Core-Dev application processes would
> > > greatly benefit from some minimal, objective criteria.  It should be
> > > perfectly clear that meeting these objective criteria will not be
> > > sufficient, alone, to achieve MOTU/Core-Dev.  However, I think there
> > > absolutely must be something more objective for an aspiring
> > > MOTU/CoreDev to achieve before taking the time/effort to apply.
> I concur with Dustin's observations about some people getting caught up in 
> arbitrary requirements.  I'd go the other way though.  I don't think there is 
> any need for X uploads, Y months as a MOTU before applying for core-dev, etc.  

I think I understand where Dustin is coming from - I too had a similar
reaction when going through the MOTU/CoreDev processes.  It has sort of
a "You're ready when you know you're ready" zeitgeist, which is fine and
good, but come on, how do I know when I'm ready?  :-)

Now as a sponsor, if I had to explicitly list give considerations for a
candidate, it might look something like this:

  * Trustworthiness
  * Carefulness
  * Experience
  * Maturity
  * Desire
  * Skill

The first five are obviously subjective, and not something that can
really be boiled down to a checklist of requirements or anything.
Indeed, a set of rules could end up overweighting considerations of
skill vs. the other items.

In my own case, I put much higher expectations on myself for packaging
skill level than probably were necessary in hindsight.  I really had no
idea what my sponsors or the board would be expecting in terms of skill,
so went way overboard in studying packaging intricacies and esoteric details
(which subsequently has helped me quite a bit in my work, but added a
lot of delay in my process, particularly coupled with the lengthy
application process itself).

For improving the process just for the skill-level consideration, what I
would like to see is sort of a self-directed "exercise workbook", with
sets of packaging, bug triage, testing, documentation, etc. tasks.  For
sponsorees with limited skill, this would provide guidance in gaining
it.  For sponsorees already with more than adequate skill, this would
help them calibrate their own expectations.  For sponsors, knowing that
a candidate has gone through the workbook would help to answer that last
bulletpoint, so they can focus on judging the others.


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